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County Begins Distribution Plans For 2nd Round Of COVID-19 Vaccine While Still Navigating The First

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet
Wikimedia Commons

Onondaga County’s vaccination site at the War Memorial has administered over 10,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. People have been getting vaccinated in Central New York since late December, meaning the county is now preparing for the second round of vaccinations to start.

County Executive Ryan McMahon said anyone who received a first dose of the vaccine from the county will be contacted when it is time to schedule a second dose. However, McMahon said it is essential to get a second vaccine dose at the same place that you got your first vaccine dose.

“We have been giving Moderna. The Fairgrounds is giving Pfizer. You can’t mix the two,” said McMahon.

McMahon said at some point the county may be giving doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and future-approved vaccines at the same time. But county staff will orchestrate its operations to make sure the first and second doses are the same. Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said making an appointment for a second dose at a different location impacts the entire vaccine distribution.

"That if they go and get the vaccine, one from here and then schedules the second [some]place else, it creates a lot of logistic nightmares for all of the sites,” said Gupta. “What will happen at the end of it, those people who should be getting their first dose will get sidelined. And that’s not what anybody wants.”

Meanwhile, many eligible county residents are still awaiting their first dose. The War Memorial pod exhausted the supply in got this week within three days. County Executive McMahon is hoping doses will be redirected, so they can open appointments for early next week. To find vaccine appointment times visit, the county website. If you’re 65 or older and needing assistance, you can call 211.


By Karen DeWitt

One day after announcing that five new state run vaccination sites are opening this week,  Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office is warning that appointments for the limited number of vaccines at those sites are already booked through April.

On Wednesday , Cuomo’s office announced that large scale vaccination Sites at Jacob  Javits Center in New York City , the Westchester County Center,  New York State Fairgrounds  in Syracuse, SUNY Albany and at Jones Beach all are opening this week, and will vaccinate thousands of New Yorkers in the coming months. But by Thursday, a disclaimer on the governor’s website says that most appointments at the state run sites are already filled through the end of April.

The state health department’s website previously listed other  locations for the vaccine, including some pharmacies and hospitals, but those sites on Thursday had been removed from the website.

The disclaimer recommends that those eligible for the vaccine contact their local pharmacies, doctor’s offices  and hospitals directly .

In the disclaimer, the state says with the inclusion of all New Yorkers over the age of 65 , as well as health care workers and teachers,  7 million state residents are now eligible for the vaccine. But the federal government is only making available 300,000 does a week.

According to the state health department’s website, new vaccination sites are to open in the coming weeks, including at State University Centers in Buffalo , Binghamton, Potsdam and Stony Brook on Long Island, and  at sites in Rochester, Plattsburgh and Utica.

Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, economy, and identity.